Allardyce relieved with late winner

Sam Allardyce admitted his first outing as England boss was a nerve-wracking experience as Adam Lallana's very late goal sealed a 1-0 win over Slovakia in their opening World Cup 2018 qualifying match.

Lallana popped up with a 95th minute winner with the game seemingly headed for a draw after Martin Skrtel was sent off for a stamp on Harry Kane just before the hour mark.

But after the match, a relieved Allardyce still felt his side deserved all three points.

He told ITV: "It was a bit nerve-wracking at the end. A 10-men scenario means you must win.

"It's difficult to break them down, they're going to try harder and defend longer but finally we got what we deserved with one in the last minute – perhaps their goalie shouldn't have stayed down injured so long."

Substitute Theo Walcott had the ball in the back of the net minutes before Lallana's winner, with Allardyce claiming the goal should have been allowed, although replays showed it was a correct decision with Daniel Sturridge getting the final touch before Walcott's finish.

He added: "Walcott's was definitely a goal, it looked like it came off their defender.

"In the end we got the goal and it's a deserved win. We broke them down pretty well apart from the final finish. When we got the final finish it was offside, we got a goal disallowed when it shouldn't have been, Adam Lallana hit the post and eventually we got the goal."

Lallana, meanwhile, was delighted with his match-winning contribution.

"It's been a long time coming, I put pressure on myself and I knew it was just a matter of time," he said.

"I had a few chances tonight, (the shot against the post) was a great effort.

"We kept plugging away and credit to the lads, it's a great start for Sam and the team. He made it very clear that we needed to keep a clean sheet, anywhere you play away from home it's going to be tough."

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